Vegan entrepreneur and owner of VBites, Heather Mills, has announced that she will be opening a third factory on UK soil. The announcement comes following support from HSBC to fund the new site.
VBites already has sites in Corby and Peterlee, and the new factory will open in Newcastle. The vegan company is also planning on opening a fourth site.
The funding from HSBC will enable blending and mixing equipment, slicing machines and new packaging lines to be introduced to the Newcastle site. New products are expected to be made available when the new site opens.
The site in Newcastle will provide 300 jobs to the area, helping the local economy in such uncertain times amidst the process of Brexit.
The new purchase comes after Mills bought the old Walkers Crisps Factory in Peterlee in May, after hearing of local job losses.
Speaking about the new site and expansion, Mills said: “After decades of promoting plant-based foods to help the animals, health and the environment, finally the world woke up.
“The demand for vegan produce has increased by 900 per cent in the last three years, meaning we needed assistance to help increase our productivity, which is where HSBC stepped in.”
Nick Hicks, HSBC UK area director, said: “VBites’ expansion will not only bring new jobs to the city of Newcastle, but will also see global exporting opportunities increase for this fantastic UK-based company.
“Heather is truly passionate about promoting the vegan lifestyle and her company’s impressive growth, partnered with the popularity of its products, speaks volumes.
“Our recent funding, organised by HSBC UK relationship manager David Sitch, marks the start of what we hope will be a fantastic relationship with VBites.”
VBites is an exclusively vegan brand and manufacturer, and Mills’ investment firm VBites Ventures has been investing in up and coming plant-based businesses, such as Love Seitan, FitDelis and M*lkman.